Premiere: Shiny Joe Ryan returns with new song Ketamine, new album out in July
The POND multi-instrumentalist's new album, Shiny's Democracy, will be his first in seven years when it arrives on July 23rd.
Header image by Duncan Wright.
It's no secret that POND is one of the best exports from Perth's long-winding musical history, and if the band's output together doesn't prove that well enough, then each of the members' respective solo projects cements it into stone. Over the last few years, we've seen some of the country's most brilliant and forward-thinking music come from solo projects under the POND umbrella, whether it's the work of frontman Nicholas Allbrook, Jay Watson as the seasoned multi-instrumentalist GUM, or Joseph Ryan's Shiny Joe Ryan project.
The latter is one you might not have heard from in a while, however. The POND guitarist shared his debut album Shiny Joe Ryan & The Cosmic Microwave Background way back in 2014, and since then, has largely been performing and recording with POND, while also doing spotted shows throughout Perth and working with Tame Impala on their visuals, adding to his multi-hyphenate skill-set.
It's what makes news of a forthcoming Shiny Joe Ryan album so brilliantly exciting then, with the musician announcing that his second album - his first in seven years too, no less - will arrive this July in the form of Shiny's Democracy. Out on July 23rd via Spinning Top, Shiny's Democracy is a cross-pollinated mix of genres that's said to showcase the heights of Shiny Joe Ryan and his musicianship, recorded at Perth's Tunafish Studios with his band The Sky Dolphins, before being mixed by fellow POND bandmates Jay Watson and James Ireland, then mastered by Kevin Parker - a real, homecoming affair.
Today, we're incredibly psyched to share the debut single from Shiny's Democracy, arriving in the form of Ketamine - because why the hell not? It's a happy-go-lucky earworm that feels a little bit Beach Boys-esque mixed with a generous psych-rock touch, with dancing vocals moving amongst a hot-bed of guitar and percussion; Shiny Joe plucking from decades' worth of genres and bringing them together in a bright three minutes. It's quite a funny one to listen to as well, with his vocals having this playful, whimsical touch as he sings about ketamine, creating a contrast we wouldn't expect from anyone else except good ol' Shiny Joe.
"The song Ketamine is one of my favourites from Shiny's Democracy. The bouncy chords kept circling around my head for so long, it reminded me of a campfire sing-along," he says on the single. "After mulling the chords over for a long time, some friends and I were laying on an apartment floor in Berlin when we randomly started singing and harmonising together. We spelled out each letter of ketamine to the chords I had written. The harmonies were beautiful, and it was so absurd singing ketamine over those innocent chords that I had no choice but to keep it, write the verses and record it. I find it very funny singing it at shows when my Mum is in the crowd."
The single also arrives alongside a video clip filmed by Shane Corry, taking Shiny Joe to the instantly recognisable Fremantle bridges for a little dance. "My initial idea for the Ketamine video was to be filmed doing everything backwards then reverse it. That would have given it all weird ketamine motion similar to that dream scene from Twin Peaks," he explains. "However after the first day of shooting we found that the camera we used had not recorded any of it so we didn’t try again. Instead we went to a local spot under the bridge into fremantle and to a jetty by the water police launch and danced my ass off. Worked out for the better I think."
That's not all, either. The single, video clip AND album announce also comes with news of an album launch on August 6th, with Shiny Joe Ryan taking over The Bird for a night of ketamine-fuelled festivities. There's more details on the album and more tour dates to come, but in the meantime, take a watch of Ketamine's video clip as it premieres on Pilerats below, and pre-order Shiny's Democracy here to get it first on July 23rd.
Thursday 22 July | Hidden Treasures Festival, Fremantle, WA
Friday 6 August | The Bird (Album Launch), Perth, WA